På torsdagskvällen intervjuades statsminister Fredrik Reinfeldt i CNN-probrammet Quest means Business. Reinfeldt intervjuades i London I samband med sitt besök hos Storbritanniens premiärminister David Cameron.
Max Foster intervjuade. Nedan följer en utskrift av intervjun.
MAX FOSTER, ANCHOR: Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt joins me now.
Thank you very much, indeed, for joining us.
So where are we in terms of this loan you are effectively offering Ireland?
FREDRIK REINFELDT, PRIME MINISTER OF SWEDEN: Well, we, of course, looking in what are Ireland doing to solve their own problems, we're just saying we should be part of helping Ireland together with the United Kingdom, together with the Euro Zone, basically because we think if we don't create a solution to this, we will also see the effect of the problems coming to us.
FOSTER: If they say yes to the offer, what terms will you offer them?
REINFELDT: Well, I think, basically, they have to solve their own problems. We could stabilize the market reactions by showing that we able to lend money to them. And it has, when we've done so for Latvia and Iceland, been on a kind of a conditions which I can defend to Swedish taxpayers, and that's important to me, of course.
FOSTER: Yes, tell me about the conditions you would attach to any loan to Ireland.
REINFELDT: Well, it's just that we -- we know that this is a moment of a tough time for Ireland, but it's a strong country, they will bounce back and we think it's a safe way of helping them but also getting our money back.
FOSTER: Would you insist on lower or higher corporation tax?
REINFELDT: Well the thing is, I think we should deal with Ireland the way we would like to see ourselves be dealt with in a similar situation. And I think it's very important that these Irish people and the Irish government are to take their own decisions on how to get out of the recession.
FOSTER: So how to spend the money, if you did lend it to them.
REINFELDT: Well, I'm sure that this will be combined by very hard measures on tax increases and expenditure cuts, we have seen so in other countries. But I think it's very important that this is something that you can do on your own, that you can form your own policies. I don't think we should
Intervene from outside to tell them what to do.
FOSTER: But how would you convince your voters that giving money at this sensitive time in the world economy is justified? What are you going to say to them?
REINFELDT: Well, basically, I will say that if we have a problem nearby, inside Euro Zone, this will also affect, exactly as we indicate in the beginning of the program, this will affect also Swedish markets, nearby markets --
FOSTER: Hardly, Ireland.
REINFELDT: Well maybe not that much with Ireland, but it's close to us, it's close to United Kingdom, close to Germany, which are very important markets to us. So I think, basically, this is also way of showing that European solidarity also can be a good thing because we are very certain that Ireland will come out of these troubles, but they need our help at the moment.
FOSTER: Aren't a lot of Swedes saying to you, isn't the beauty of being outside the Euro Zone you don't have to get involved in these bailouts. That's exactly why they didn't want to go into the euro in the first place.
REINFELDT: OK, but we are affected by how the euro is perceived and how it's -- if it's strong or not.
But again, I think we can do this on a case-by-case study. We have been part of the help to Latvia, part of the help to Iceland; we haven't lost any money on that. And we can actually see that we secure greater stability and this is also good for Sweden.
FOSTER: OK, so if Portugal's next, would you give money to Portugal?
REINFELDT: Well, I don't think we should accept the idea that this is now followed by other countries, just let us see what happens now in Ireland. There's a lot of programs introduced to get Dutch Republic (ph) finance all through Europe.
This is needed and I don't think I want to speculate that any other countries would follow.
FOSTER: OK. The other piece of useful advice and contribution you can make to the Euro Zone is how to get an economy through a banking crisis and through a really tough time and come through it without any social tension actually that you're seeing in other parts of Europe.
FOSTER: What advice can you give other European leaders right now?
REINFELDT: Yes, well, easier for me to say now, but we started with surplus where many others had deficits in their public finances. We did not give the money to the banks or to a failing industries. We gave it to the people in tax cuts, by that, keeping up demand.
FOSTER: You didn't borrow too much either, did you?
REINFELDT: No, exactly. We have actually had a drop in our national debt as part of our GDP ratio.
But we -- because we've been very tight with the taxpayers money, very important also had to have a good work first principal all through this so the incentives for work has grown in Sweden. That is the way to meet these kind of recessions.
FOSTER: Other European leaders are very impressed by the way you've handled things -- all the European Nordic countries, in fact -- and none less so than David Cameron. You've been meeting him today, haven't you?
REINFELDT: Yes, yes.
FOSTER: Some of the correspondents are ribbing David Cameron, saying he wants to make Britain a Nordic country.
REINFELDT: Ah, well
FOSTER: He's very impressed and he's organizing a summit with the Nordic countries, isn't he?
REINFELDT: That's correct.
FOSTER: What's going on there? What's he trying to do? You going to create some kind of political bloc?
REINFELDT: No, I wouldn't -- I mean, we're part of European Union.
But I think it's very interesting, both the Nordic countries, the Baltic states, and also United Kingdom are very open economies, very dependent on trade, very much in favor of free trade in the world at a time when many are calling for protectionism. So I think we are very nearby.
And also, our job creation policies are very much alike and also to institute choice inside the welfare system. I think we have a lot to learn. And for me and for David Cameron, we have inspired each other throughout the years, because we have --
FOSTER: Even before he was elected?
REINFELDT: Absolutely, because we have transformed our parties in the very much the same. So we are very close.
FOSTER: He likes the Swedish model as well, though, doesn't he?
REINFELDT: Well, I like -- I like also what I've learned from David Cameron. He has been very keen on introducing green theories on climate change and also job creation related to green values, which is also very important.
FOSTER: Prime Minister Reinfeldt, thank you very much, indeed, for joining us on the program.
REINFELDT: Thank you.